Maximus, the salon and spa whose flagship opened in Merrick in 1970, has long been a Long Island beauty destination (there's one in Westbury, too). Now city dwellers can save the train fare and visit the new 6,000-square-foot branch on Mercer Street. Maximus in SoHo -- with eye-catching focal points like a bar that sprays bursts of steam and oxygen onto the face and a two-story waterfall dramatized by colored lights -- offers a range of treatments and therapies. But, interestingly for those who have been following the Maximus mentions in the tabloids ( a group of women recently filed a class-action suit claiming one Merrick massage therapist had gotten a little too touchy-feely), it doesn't offer à la carte massage. Swedish, shiatsu, and reflexology modalities are available only as part of the "Water Journey," which includes a hydrotherapy tub and a mud or salt treatment. When in Rome . . .
We all know how tricky the transformation from workplace drone to radiant vixen can be. Helena Rubenstein hopes to come to the rescue with "Date Express," a one-hour prep session at the SoHo spa that includes a half-hour facial, brow shaping, manicure, and makeup application, all for $100. If your romantic evening goes as desired, you may wish to return and stock up your medicine cabinet -- the new Urban Active cream and gel used in "Date Express" go on sale next month ($50 each at the Helena Rubenstein spa, 135 Spring Street; and Bergdorf Goodman). The products come with the promise that your skin will look firmer, with fewer wrinkles, in just four weeks. If they can keep that date, we'll consider freeing up our evenings.
The Ride Stuff
Those of the horsey set who want to look better in the saddle -- or just want to seem a bit more authentic when wearing this season's jodhpurs and riding jackets -- should consider Equinox's new equestrian training program. Johnny McCully (who trains four-time Olympic riding champion Anne Kursinski) will put clients through their paces beginning next month, leading a six-week course of balance, postural, and lower-body exercises that work the same muscles riding does. The results, they say, are general toning and a better sense of equilibrium, in or out of the saddle. Explains Paul Juris, a doctor who will supervise the program, "When the rider is out of control, the horse doesn't like it." Reining in your purse strings is not part of the curriculum, unfortunately.
These days, men love their eye creams as much as women do, slathering them on to ward off crow's feet and maintain a boyish visage. Clinique is appealing to the vain male by going one step further, with a cream that makes the eyes look good -- immediately. Their Eye Treatment Formula contains microscopic optical diffusers that scatter light so that skin can be seen only in the most flattering aura. Meanwhile, it builds up the skin's moisture barrier, firms up the sensitive skin around the eye, and protects the area from future damage with green-tea extract and vitamin E. Now if you could only apply a little liner . . . ($26 at Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue).
When Max Azria conceived his first fragrance for BCBG, he decided he couldn't predict a woman's state of mind (smart man). So this month he's launching four different scents -- Nature, Star, Metro, and Sexy -- in the hopes that women will change their scent to match their mood. Of course, if you find yourself changing them too often, you may need something stronger ($38 at Macy's, Lord & Taylor, and BCBG Max Azria boutiques).